Hyderabad: Challenges are not new for a determined 16-year-old B Hemalatha. The young rower, based in Hyderabad, has overcome several adversities and she is gearing up for the Junior Asian Championship to be held in Thailand from December 15. Hemalatha, originally hailing from Kadapa, is the only rower from both the Telugu States to compete in the championship.
Hemalatha, who took up rowing in 2015, has won a total of four gold medals, two silver and three bronze medals in the National Championships in a span of four years. The young rower had lost her father, B Bhaskar while her mother and sister are working at a shop in their hometown to make both the ends meet.
“We don’t have any properties. I am a first-year Intermediate Student from Telangana Sports School, Hakimpet. I am being offered free education here. I receive Rs 30,000 in three months since I am part of the Khelo India camp. But sometimes it is not delivered on time.
In such situations, if any event occurs, we need to spend money on our own. I meet SATS authorities after every tournament. They have been promising help but it is yet to come,” Hema added.
“I have participated in the World Rowing Championship in Quad in 2016 where I finished in 12th position. I was seventh in the 2018 Junior Asian Championship in Korea. This time, I am competing in the 2 km Quad event. I want to win a medal for the country,” Hema said.
The young rower joined TS Sports School in 2013 where she initially practised fencing. “Ismail Baig sir noticed me and offered me training in 2015. Since then, I began showing interest in this sport.”
Talking about the competition, Hemalatha said the wind conditions are really challenging and added that she has prepared well this time. “Rowers from China and Iran are tough opponents. I need to work hard to match up with them.”
Hemalatha was selected for the national camp following her gold in the girls singles skull event. Hemalatha visits the Academy in Hussainsagar Lake twice a week and practices two hours every day at school.
“I stay at the Youth Hostel during National events. I want to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and also win medals in the upcoming National Games,” Hemalatha signed off with a smile.